Tuesday, 21 August, 2018

Pak action halts U.S. bid to airlift killer diplomat

US diplomat doesn't have'absolute immunity US diplomat doesn't have'absolute immunity
Faye Gross | 14 May, 2018, 04:31

Pakistani authorities have barred a US diplomat involved in a fatal traffic accident from leaving the country, forcing an American military aircraft flown in for his departure to leave without him, local media reported on Saturday.

On Friday, Islamabad's High Court left it up to the government to decide whether he should be on a travel ban list, saying he didn't have absolute immunity.

A spokesman for the U.S. embassy in Islamabad declined to comment on the media reports, and a U.S. State Department spokesperson in Washington would neither confirm nor deny them.

Pakistani media showed footage of a USA plane at Nur Khan airbase in Rawalpindi near Islamabad that reportedly arrived yesterday to fly back defence attache Colonel Joseph Emanuel Hall.

On April 7, Col Hall killed a youth and injured the pillion rider as he jumped the traffic signal at the intersection of Margalla Road and 7 Avenue in the federal capital.

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According to the USA decision, Pakistani diplomats, at the embassy in Washington and four consulates in New York, Los Angeles, Texas and Chicago, will need to stay within 25 miles (40-kms) of the city of their posting.

Meanwhile, on Friday, Pakistan had also imposed travel restrictions on United States diplomats in the country following a similar decision by the United States administration.

"We are in regular communication with our Pakistani counterparts". The US must understand that their defence attaché has taken the life of an innocent person and diplomatic immunity as also observed by the IHC does not permit killing someone. That came days after President Trump complained on Twitter that Pakistan had "given us nothing but lies & deceit" and accused it of providing "safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan".

Sources said that the U.S. diplomat wasn't present at the airbase but would reach there after being allowed to leave the country.

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